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Thoughts on Generic Ribashpere

Around mid-December 2005, generic ribaviran hit the market in the form of Ribasphere. A number of us here are in the process being switched over to it, and I think it's safe to say more and more will be switching going forward.

Most of us would probably prefer to continue treatment with the name brand drug, although with the significant price differential between name brand and generic, I expect many of us would more willingly switch to the cheaper product were we paying out of pocket.  

I thought it would be informative to have a thread for discussing the merits and issues of generic ribavirin.
29 Responses
92903 tn?1309908311
My pharmacy called to say my drugs were going out and they had switched me to generic riba. They claimed that Insurance wouldn't pay for anything else, but I'm not so sure that's true. I think my coverage would cover the brandname too, and since it's already at the highest copay (only 30 bucks, I'm not complaining) it should have been covered.

I didn't have the energy to go back and forth with them so I went with it.

On my first day on the generic, I had a splitting headache like nothing I've had on tx. I was talking to my Doc about something anyway, so I included that in the email. He thought it cold be the new drug, and said that we'd try to go back to the brand if it continued.

The headache left, and I don't think it had anything to do with the meds. Meanwhile, my Doc checked around and said he couldn't find anyone who thought there were any efficiacy problems with ribashere.

So apparently my Doc feels there <b>could</b> be a formulation difference, but also feels there is <b>no cause for concern</b>.

After being on the generic for nearly a week, my plan at this point is to just 'go with the flow'.
Avatar universal
Possibly the same thing happened to me on my first refill of Copegus this year. They told me my plan's formulary list changed and they would only approve generic ribavirin. However, my understanding is that your doctor can appeal the decision and request a non-formulary drug. I asked my NP to do such, and she just handed me a container of Copegus and said "we're too busy now to hassle with the insurance companies." So I'm still on Copegus. Go figure.

-- Jim
92903 tn?1309908311
Yeah - I think I could have fought it, but I was on my way out of town, low on Riba, low on energy, and rolled with it.

I did google around about it when they made the switch and found that Threee Rivers (the pharm that distributes the generic) did a small 48 week study favorably comparing it to either Copeg or Rebetol.

Thinking about it, I doubt that Roche or Shering manufacture their own anyway. They make the peg-inf glop, but probably have the riba branded for them.

If there *is* a slight difference in how Ribashpere hits the virus, doing a little change-up in meds right about now might actually be a good idea. Feint with the Copeg, and slam'em with the Ribashere!
Avatar universal
I returned the generic that the pharmacy gave me and got the CoPeg.  The generic copay was $15 and the CoPeg which had been a $30 copay got bumped up to $45 since the generic came out.  I figure I bought a month to make a decision and see ow everyone on the board reacted to the generic.  I sure don't like the idea of headaches, but since it only happened at first,you're right goof,  it probably wasn't the generic.

I am willing to pay the extra money for the comfort level, but am willing to change if everyone says it is the same.
Avatar universal
I may be picking up my 'riba' today. Last week I went to refill my scripts and they wouldn't refill til after Monday due to the 30 day cycle and insurance. I was also informed that my insurance will no longer pay for brand name (copegus) and I am being switched to generic. I meant to call my doc and inform him and forgot. I happened to ask the pharmacist the difference in cost(I have no copay). The brand name is $1387.00, he said the generic is between 300 and 400 dollars. Be nice if it works as well. Maybe more people will be able to treat and the price of brand names will come down.
BTW I had a splitting headache this morning. Coincidentally I took an extra riba last night(normaly 3 in am, 2 in pm) and the night before. Because YES I missed a dose again, despite everyhing I'd tried. So now Dad has a chart that he xes out for me when he sees me take the meds. I never made up the dose I missed a week or so ago. I'll see how this goes.
It's shoot em up night at the O'PEG corral. Wondering how I'll feel tomorrow with extra riba in system.
Avatar universal
I kinda thought the same thing...wonder if I should just mix 'em up a bit. Three Copegus in the morn', Three, Three-Rivers at night. Then maybe a little Deltamethrin chaser before bedtime -- hey, it seems to kill the moths pretty well :)

-- Jim
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